New Delhi: A sustained $10 per barrel increase in crude prices reduces growth in developing countries by 1.5%, oil minister, S. Jaipal Reddy, said on Wednesday in Vienna, where crude producers of OPEC are meeting this week.

“There could not be a more direct cause and effect relation than high oil prices retarding economic growth of oil-importing countries," Reddy said in a speech, a copy of which was issued to reporters by his ministry in New Delhi.

A file photo of oil minister, S. Jaipal Reddy.

India is the world’s fourth-largest oil importer and its biggest suppliers are all OPEC nations -- Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran.

Indian refiners’ cuts in purchases from Iran have fallen enough to win it a waiver from US sanctions targeting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

The country’s oil import bill rose to $140 billion in 2011-12 from $100 billion in the previous fiscal year as its average cost of imported crude rose $27 per barrel, Reddy said.